Natalie Jablonski

Community Features Editor

Natalie came to the station in 2013.  She moved to the Northwoods from Providence, Rhode Island where she worked at Rhode Island Public Radio.  She studied Environmental Studies at Brown University, and learned radio production at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. 

As Community Features Editor, Natalie spends time reporting, interviewing, and working with volunteer contributors.  She also hosts All Things Considered on Friday afternoons. 

When she's not rushing to and from an interview, she enjoys cooking, eating, playing music, and skiing to survive the winter.


Working With Limited Resources
11:44 am
Wed September 17, 2014

USFS Looks For Outside Help With Timber Sales

The forest products industry has criticized the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest for not meeting timber harvest goals set forth in its 10-year forest plan.
Credit US Forest Service

Managers of the Chequamegon-Nicolet want to partner with other groups to help achieve timber harvest goals in the national forest.  That’s the message from Forest Supervisor Paul Strong.   

He’s part of a newly formed partnership called the Northeast Wisconsin Forestry Improvement Collaborative that represents logging groups, manufacturers and environmental interests. 

Strong says the hope is that different organizations can help the Forest Service obtain grant money, organize volunteers, or even resolve disagreements. 

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Hitting Standards for Education
3:57 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

School Report Cards Give Northwoods Solid Marks

This year marks the third that the state has issued schools a report card evaluating various aspects of performance.
Credit Basheer Tome

Most public schools are meeting or going beyond state expectations in the Northwoods.

School report cards released each September look at how students are doing in reading and math, attendance and graduation rates.  There are also categories that measure student improvement, and how schools are closing performance gaps between demographics. 

In Crandon, District Administrator Jim Asher says schools did better than state averages in student growth and closing the gap categories...and but still need work on some academic indicators.    

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Plans for New Arts Center
1:00 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

Indian Bowl Set for Demolition

Lac du Flambeau is scheduled to start demolishing its historic Indian Bowl Monday.

The building dates back to the 1950s. As Lac du Flambeau tribal spokesperson Brandon Thoms explains, for years it drew tourists with its traditional dance performances and cultural events.

“There’s a lot of history that goes with the Indian Bowl," he said.  "President Eisenhower was adopted into the band at the Indian Bowl in front of a large crowd…and it just has a real significance in the community.”

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Cultural Significance of Wild Rice
2:32 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Wild Rice Festival Celebrates Harvest

Wild rice harvesting in Minnesota - 1915.
Credit Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Lac du Flambeau is holding a festival celebrating wild rice…and the historic Indian Bowl.

The Wild Rice Festival is held every year during the rice harvesting season, which usually spans late August to early September. 

As Lac du Flambeau spokesperson Brandon Thoms explains, wild rice has been an important part of Ojibwe culture since the tribes first migrated to the area.  A prophecy had foretold that the people should settle in a place where the food grows on the water.

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Changes Taking Effect
1:50 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Archery Season Set to Open Will Be Buck-Only For Many

Dear season opens for archers and crossbow hunters Saturday, September 13th.
Credit Michele Woodford / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

As deer hunters know well, the archery season opens Saturday in Wisconsin.

It will be a unique deer hunting season with a set of new regulations in place, and buck-only hunts in most northern counties.

Deer hunters may face some adjustments when they head out into the woods this weekend. 

As DNR Warden Supervisor Dave Walz explains, a variety of changes are taking effect thanks to the deer trustee rule package.  For one, deer management units now tend to follow county lines, instead of highway or river boundaries like they often did before. 

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Short-lived Tree Species Need Management
7:08 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Agencies Look to Young Forest Species to Provide Wildlife Habitat

The American woodcock is one species researchers say benefits from young forest types, along with ruffed grouse and the golden-winged warbler.

A group of natural resource organizations wants to work with landowners to create more habitat for species like the American woodcock and the golden winged warbler.

The Young Forest Partnership includes the Wisconsin DNR, the American Bird Conservancy and several other groups.

The Partnership wants help landowners with the cost of shearing or harvesting aspen and tag alder, to encourage those short-lived species to regenerate and stay on the landscape.

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Inventory of Invasives
4:11 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Monitors Look to Bridges as Potential Aquatic Invasive Hotspots

Purple loosestrife and other invasive species are the targets of a survey of bridges this weekend.
Credit Stefan Czapski /

Volunteers in the Northwoods will be visiting bridges this Saturday…and taking an inventory of aquatic invasives they find.

Oneida County Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Michele Sadauskus says they’ll canvass several areas to get a count of what species are present at different bridges.

“We’re hoping not to find anything new.  A lot of these areas don’t have a lot of information or data collected on them.  So we’re going into a lot of these areas with a fresh look at them.” 

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Tracking a Spreading Bat Disease
5:22 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

White Nose Finding Isolated, DNR Confirms

White nose syndrome is named for the characteristic white fungus found on affected bats' faces and bodies.
Credit Marvin Moriarty / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Wisconsin’s first evidence of the bat disease white nose syndrome was restricted to a single site, the DNR confirms.

The state agency has finished testing samples taken earlier this year from caves where bats hibernate. 

The Grant County location that tested positive for white nose syndrome was the only one that did. 

As DNR Natural Heritage Conservation Director Erin Crain explains…the agency prioritizes testing samples where white nose is suspected.

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Questioning Mine Safety, Accountability
4:55 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Plaintiffs to Pay Mining Company Court Fees After Environmental Dispute

A Duluth woman is raising money to offset court costs that she’s being asked to pay on behalf of a mining company. 

Laura Gouger says she and two other plaintiffs have to pay more than $60,000 of the opposing side’s legal fees…after losing a case they brought against the Flambeau Mining Company. 

“I’m very disappointed.  I would say that mining companies are not held accountable for polluting public waters.”

The Flambeau mine near Ladysmith was an open pit copper and gold mine that operated between 1991 and 1999. 

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Water Levels Already High
4:02 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Rainy Forecast Prompts River Flooding Worries

As seen from Rhinelander's Davenport Street Bridge, water levels on the Wisconsin River have been higher than usual after heavy rains.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

We’re still drying out from last week’s storm…and another is on its way.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Tuesday night through Wednesday night. 

Water levels on the Wisconsin River are already elevated from last week’s rainfall. 

The Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company has been releasing water from many of its reservoirs.

As Operations Manager Peter Hansen explains, rainfall reports Thursday and Friday ranged from2.5  to 6 inches. 

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